Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia
The Trans-Siberian Railway is the most famous, longest continuous railway in the World, and one of the amazing man-made wonders, along which goes the famous excursion deluxe train "Imperial Russia", a journey of life-time. The original Tsarist-era line was built from St. Petersburg which was the capital of Russia at that time with end-points in either Vladivostok at the Russian Far East (9265 km or 5757 miles), or Beijing in China via Manchuria (9001 km or 5593 miles). In the 1920's, a soviet-era expansion project added a 3rd route to Beijing via Mongolia (7865 km or 4887 miles). In 1991, a 4th route running further to the north reaching Tatar Strait at Sovetskaya Gavan was added, and a 5th one in 2011 running to Rajin in North Korea.
The first part from St. Petersburg to Moscow was accepted by Emperor Nicholas I personally. In 1861 His Majesty made the first pleasure journey between the two capitals of the State of Russia. His son, Emperor Alexander II, inherited his father's helm. According to the Royal Edict, the railway from Moscow to Ural Mountains has been constructed for almost 40 years.
The next part, around 7000 kilometers (4350 miles) long, extending from the far city of Miass in the Ural region to the Pacific ocean itself was already laid by Alexander III. His son, the future Last Emperor of Russia Nicholas II, was present at the solemn ceremony of construction work. Construction of the Great Road was finished in the last year of his reign in 1916.
This exciting and unforgettable journey through continents and centuries from the shores of the Baltic Sea to the shores of the Pacific Ocean passes along the road of 4 emperors, spans 7 time zones, comes across more than 80 cities and towns on the way, and takes 8 days to complete without making overnight stops.
The main route of train passes by all the largest historical and cultural centers of the vast Russian Empire, the great plains of the Volga region, Ural Mountains, Baraba steppe with its ominous clouds, the dense forests of Siberia, and travels along the World's largest and deepest freshwater Lake Baikal running through Yaroslavl, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita, and Khabarovsk to Vladivostok via southern Siberia.
The second primary route is the Trans-Manchurian, which coincides with the Trans-Siberian east of Chita as far as Tarskaya east of Lake Baikal. From Tarskaya the Trans-Manchurian heads southeast, via Harbin and Mudanjiang in China's Northeastern Provinces, joining with the main route in Ussuriysk just north of Vladivostok. The third primary route is the Trans-Mongolian Railway, which coincides with the Trans-Siberian as far as Ulan-Ude on Lake Baikal's eastern shore. From Ulan-Ude the Trans-Mongolian heads south to Ulaan-Baatar before making its way southeast to Beijing.